You go on a vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida to have a magical time with some sprinkles of Pixie Dust.
Of course, there are some reality checks you cannot escape; realities like special needs or the impact disabilities of family members may have on their and your activities.
According to Wikipedea:
“Americans with disabilities comprise one of the largest minority groups in the United States. According to the Disability Status: 2000 – Census 2000 Brief approximately 20% of Americans have one or more diagnosed psychological or physical disability:
Census 2000 counted 49.7 million people with some type of long lasting condition or disability. They represented 19.3 percent of the 257.2 million people who were aged 5 and older in the civilian non-institutionalized population — or nearly one person in five…”"
Or, to put it another way, out of every 100 people who are 5 years and older that visited Walt Disney Word, 19 are likely living with some type of disability. These people cannot leave their reality at home.
Now, Disney does a wonderful job of providing numerous companion washroom facilities in its theme parks.
How do I know? I spend a week there last year with one of my adult daughters who happens to use a wheel chair.
And we are returning for 2 weeks next year, staying at a different Disney World resort property each week.
During our stay, we want to visit other Walt Disney World properties to eat in their restaurants, view their uniqueness, etc. Heck, we want to attend the long running Hoop-Dee-Doo dinner show at at Pioneer Hall in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.
Yet, as it is just my special needs daughter and myself, we need a companion washroom so I can help her with her, well, washroom activities.
We will not be the only ones in this situation.
Husbands helping wives who use wheel chairs; wives helping husbands who use wheel chairs; mothers helping sons who use wheel chairs; fathers helping daughters who use wheel chairs; we are not alone.
Companion Washrooms Lacking At Walt Disney World Resorts
Is there a legal requirements for Disney World to spend money to build and maintain companion washroom facilities at its existing resorts?
If you think there is, please leave a comment to this article including the specific section of the American Disabilities Act where there is such a legal requirement.
Can Walt Disney World do better?
Bob Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney World Company quote continues to be included on Walt Disney web sites:
Bob, I would admire the Walt Disney Company more if you placed at least one, just one, companion washroom at each of your on site resorts.
You know you don’t.
Not even at the Boardwalk Inn and Villas what with all of their restaurants and shops.
If you call Disney World to inquire you will likely get an answer that ‘Disney considers that each Disney World resort is a home resort’. This means that the party line is people will not visit any other Disney World property other than the one in which they are staying. This also means that Disney is assuming the only guests who will be at any Disney World resort property will be those who are already staying at the property and therefore, they can simply return to their rooms.
I got this answer myself many times.
Yet, if you or your family are part of the 19.3 percent of Americans with a disability who during your visit will need to make use of companion washrooms, this is a very insulting answer because this is just not true.
There are more restaurants at the Boardwalk Inn and Villas resort than can be filled by all of that resort’s guest if they all ate there and only there every day. Want to go to the Hoop Dee Doo Revue which performs in Pioneer Hall at Fort Wilderness? Just be aware that Fort Wilderness does not have a companion washroom.
Locations of Companion Washrooms at Walt Disney World Resorts
Where are the companion washroom locations at Walt Disney World resorts and hotels?
From my research, emails with Disney World guest services, on-line research and many, many phone calls here are two lists for you in case you are in the same situation as I will be with my daughter.
Walt Disney World Resorts Without Any Companion Washrooms
- Animal Kingdom Lodge / Villas
- Bay Lake Tower
- Beach Club Resort / Villas
- Boardwalk Inn / Villas
- Fort Wilderness Cabins / Resort & Campground
- Yacht Club Resort
Walt Disney World Resorts With Companion Washrooms
- Contemporary Resort
- Chef Mickey’s – ask at the podium at the entrance to the restaurant for access
- Grand Floridian Resort
- Second floor, left off the elevator on the lagoon side.
- Polynesian Resort
- Second Floor outside Ohana’s Restaurant (we actually used this last year when we were waiting for the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
Walt Disney World Resorts With Unknown Companion Washrooms
- All-Star Movie
- All-Star Music
- All-Star Sports
- Art of Animation Resort
- Caribbean Beach
- Coronado Springs
- Old Key West Resort
- Pop Century Resort
- Port Orleans Riverside
- Port Orleans French Quarter
- Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Treehouse Villas
- Wilderness Lodge / Villas
The last collection are those Walt Disney World resorts and hotels for which we have not been able to determine if there is or is not at least one companion washroom facility. If you find out either way, please leave a comment and we will adjust the above collection.
What To Do When You Need a Companion Washroom
The practice is supposed to be that the party needing a companion washroom at a Disney World resort or hotel without such a facility is to tell a Disney Cast Member of the need. This cast member is supposed to immediately arrange to have either the men’s or woman’s washroom facility closed (meaning, no one can enter). Once all of the occupants of the facility have finished their, um, business and departed, then the Cast Member is to let the party needing the companion washroom to enter and continue to keep others out until their are finished.
Nice in theory.
First, not all Cast Members know about this policy. I stopped counting the number of phone inquiries I made to the different Walt Disney World resort when, in response to my question ‘Well, what are we supposed to do when we are at this Disney World resort and need to use a companion washroom?’, I was told something like ‘I have no idea.’.
I have been assured that team Cast Member meetings will reinforce what the practice is supposed to be.
Just be aware.
Mr. Iger, keep up the good work but please pay attention that you can do more. The Walt Disney Company is not quite my most admired company in the world; close, but not just yet.
We will see you (well, Disney World) next spring.
Suggested Articles For You:
- Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue (1)
- Re-Visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios (1)
- Back to Epcot For Dining and Illuminations (1)
- Laundry At Disney’s BoardWalk Villas (1)
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Day 1 (1)